Release Date: 08/06/1963
Released by:Daiei Films
Directed by:Yamamoto Satsuo
Plot Summary: As the film opens, the warlod Nobunaga Oda rides to Iga Ayanokuni shrine. He is asked if he thinks he has destroyed all the ninja who opposed him and answers that he suspects that there may be more. A servant brings water and tests it first. The paige dies and we hear gunshots as two ninja flee the scene. His suspicions confirmed, Nobunaga oversees the execution of captured ninja and decides that, in the future, he needs a much crueler method of execution. The daimyo Hideyoshi comes to visit.
We find Ishikawa Goemon, his young son Gohei and his wife Maki living a happy life in the forest. One day, while returning home, Maki sees two ninja being dragged to their executions. She later asks Goemon to move back to her family`s home where they can live safely in peace. As they talk, Goemon senses someone approaching. The house is invaded by Nobunaga`s men and Goemon`s child is tossed into the fire. Goemon and Maki manage to escape, killing all of their attackers.
Saiga in Kisshu is the last foothold of the Ikko Ikki. Goemon and his wife have returned to her home area. We learn that Goemon has become deeply involved with the Saiga clan and has been trying to teach them ninjutsu in order to fight off Nobunaga`s frequent attacks.
Although he wants to kill Nobunaga, Ishikawa is asked not to by the leader of the Ikkoshu because they would quickly be found and slaughtered. He is told that they must wait until the right moment.
As Goemon is out walking, he is surprised by Hattori Hanzo. He relates how Nobunaga`s right-hand-man, Mitsuhide was embarrassed by Nobunaga and told to leave after he suggested that he show some mercy to the ninja. Hanzo suggests that they use Mitsuhide against Nobunaga. He then introduces Tamame who is acting as a spy in Azuchi castle.
Hamamatsu castle Nobunaga and Tokugawa speak about being allies and Nobunaga invites him to Azuchi.
Goemon shows up at Mitsuhide`s home and shows him a note regarding all of his activities. Using the name Saheiji, he explains that he is the son of a poor farmer who wants to be a samurai. Suspecting that he is a spy sent by Nobunaga, Mitsuhide allows him entrance even though he knows he is an Iga ninja.
Tokugawa accepts Nobunaga`s invitation and while Goemon watches, makes plans to stay in Tohougo and Tamame begins spreading misinformation and anti-Nobunaga sentiment throughout Nobunaga`s men.
Mitsuhide is in charge of getting Tohougo ready for Tokugawa`s visit. When Nobunaga comes to check on how things are going, he again embarrasses Mitsuhide by accusing him of going over his head to gain the favor of Tokugawa.
While enjoying a Noh drama, Nobunaga suggests to Tokugawa that he go on a tour of the Kyoto and Nara area. At the same time, Mitsuhide is talking to Goemon who explains that the Saiga clan will not stay silent forever and that they are just waiting for the right time to attack Nobunaga. Goemon disappears as some other men appear and give Mitsuhide a letter, which states that Hideyoshi would like some troops sent to aid his forces. Mitsuhide prepares to help Hideyoshi.
As the troops move out, Mitsuhide leads his men to Kyoto`s Honnoji temple where Nobunaga is staying. One man goes the opposite way to warn Nobunaga, but is killed by Goemon before he arrives.
At Honnoji, Mitsuhide`s men attack the temple grounds. Ranmaru fights valiantly to protect his commander, but at the same time, Goemon sets fire to the temple buildings. Nobunaga is wounded by an arrow and retreats inside the temple where he is taunted by Goemon who calls himself an Iga ninja`s ghost. Enraged, Nobunaga is slaughtered by Goemon in revenge for the death of his family and friends. Outside of the burning temple, Mitsuhide`s men celebrate their victory.
Tokugawa learns of Nobunaga`s death and decides that the way to win this political battle is to avenge Nobunaga`s death and destroy Mitsuhide`s forces. Hattori volunteers to lead Tokugawa forces through Iga in order to arrive at Kyoto sooner. In the meantime, Goemon arrives back at Saiga where the Ikkoshu celebrate their victory. Goemon promises never to leave Maki again.
As all the daimyo begin to take sides, Tokugawa realizes that whoever wins the battle between Hideyoshi and Nobunaga`s forces will have to face him.
Mitsuhide is killed as his forces move to attack Hideyoshi`s.
The Saiga clan are surrounded and being starved out by Hideyoshi`s forces. They are offered terms of surrender and learn of Mitsuhide`s death. The Ikkoshu decide not to accept Hideyoshi`s terms and the siege continues. Goemon decides to break the stalemate and sneaks into the midst of Hideyoshi`s camp. After just missing Hideyoshi with an explosive, he escapes to Kyoto to bring the Negoroshi another band of Ikko Ikki. When they arrive back at the Saiga compound, they find everyone, including Maki dead. Just then, the compound is attacked again by Hideyoshi`s cannon.
Goemon swears to avenge Maki, Gohei and the Ikkoshu by killing Hideyoshi. Hanzo shows up and gives Goemon a floor plan of Hideyoshi`s Shirakutei castle. Later, Goemon sneaks into the castle, but his presence is revealed by the nightingale floors of the castle. These are some great ninja scenes! Finding Hideyoshis bedroom, Goemon throws a shuriken, but one of Hideyoshi`s guards blocks the target and Goemon is taken prisoner. Goemon tries to escape, but is overpowered by sheer numbers. Goemon is lead to his execution as the film ends. Cast: ICHIKAWA Raizo as ISHIKAWA Goemon
WAKAYAMA Tomisaburo as ODA Nobunaga
YAMAMURA So as AKECHI Mitsuhide
FUJIMURA Shiho as Maki
TSUBOUCHI Mikiko as Tamame
TONO Eijiro as TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi
DATE Saburo as HATTORI Hanzo